AI-based earlier medicine development leveraging TWCC HPC to aid cancer prediction research

AI-based earlier medicine development leveraging TWCC HPC to aid cancer prediction research

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is shaping the future of global medical industries. The practice of medicine is changing with the development of AI methods of machine learning. As the increasing accuracy of predictive medicine, AI technology, based on analyzing patient’s medical records, is entailing predicting the probability of disease in order to either further diagnosis of disease allowing for the estimation of disease risks or significantly decrease the cost to deal with its impact upon the patient. The AI based prediction medicine is a new type of earlier medicine

Hsuan-Chia Yang, assistant professor of the Graduate Institute of Biomedical Informatics, Taipei Medical University, explains Prediction of Principle Health Threat (PROPHET) project. Led by Dr. Li Yu-Chuan, a pioneer of AI in Medicine and Medical Informatics Research, earlier medicine for fatal diseases is leveraging AI technology and data mining systems to provide a personal, real-time, accurate and manageable healthcare program. The PROPHET project provides the prediction of cancer risks and boosts the new business opportunity of start-ups. Taiwan Ministry of Science and Technology provides the funding support for this kind of projects.

Taking breast cancer detection as an example, there are 5 persons confirmed as positive out of every 1000 people screening. Applying the AI earlier medicine perdition method, the effective rate will be reduced to 5 confirmed out of 233 people check. There are 77% saving of breast cancer earlier diagnosis. The saved cost is obvious.

The basic of PROPHET project is making AI Bio-maker model using AI technology to screen cancer and provide the prediction. Transforming the patient medical records to time matrix data diagrams, the skill is setting to predict 10 kinds of cancer risks after one year time frame based on sequential medical records to develop a prediction model. Each prediction of various cancers could reach 85% AUROC (Area under the receiver operating characteristic) curves. Taiwan Healthcare insurance program preserves every citizen’s healthcare digital records of treatments and medicine usage. PROPHET takes this strength to analyze three-year personal data records to predict the cancer risks of next 12-month. These lower cost AI-based cancer predictions allow healthcare professions to participate in the decision about whether or not it is appropriate testing or detection priority for patients.

From the technical point of view, the dynamic prediction value of personal diseases is a time-dependent scenario. The time matrix combined with personal medicine usage records and various diseases could make a two dimensional health diagram. The vertical axis is thousands of variables including medicine usage, set of medical signs and symptoms. The horizontal axis is time listings based on week or month. There are about 250 thousand health diagrams to use in the AI training process to get effective prediction AI models. After requiring repeat fine-tuning in training new AI models of each cancer, it can be derived effective prediction models based on above AI Bio-marker.

However, the huge compute power to perform these AI training tasks requires huge support

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Ionis announces third investigational antisense medicine to treat nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) enters development

CARLSBAD, Calif., Nov. 23, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Ionis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: IONS) announced today that the biopharmaceutical company AstraZeneca has licensed ION455, an investigational antisense medicine being developed as a potential treatment for nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). ION455 is the second medicine for the treatment of NASH that Ionis has partnered with AstraZeneca. The companies have also partnered on ION839 (AZD2693), which is designed to inhibit the production of patatin-like phospholipase domain-containing 3 (PNPLA3) protein, a major genetic determinant of NASH progression. Separately, Ionis is also developing a wholly owned NASH program. ION224 is designed to reduce the production of DGAT2, or diacylglycerol acyltransferase 2, for treating patients with NASH. ION224 is one of more than 20 medicines in the growing Ionis-owned pipeline that the company is prioritizing and preparing for commercialization.

NASH is the most severe form of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). It is related to the epidemic of obesity, pre-diabetes and diabetes. Unlike liver disease caused by alcohol consumption, NAFLD is the result of an accumulation of fat in the liver, which can lead to inflammation and cirrhosis, an advanced scarring of the liver that prevents the liver from functioning normally. About 20 percent of NASH patients are reported to develop cirrhosis and 30 to 40 percent of patients with NASH cirrhosis experience liver-related death.i Currently, a liver transplant is the only treatment for advanced cirrhosis and liver failure. Because of the high prevalence of NASH, it has recently become the third most common indication for liver transplantation in the U.S.

“Today, there are no FDA-approved medicines to specifically treat nonalcoholic steatohepatitis. However, due in large part to the progress made by our cardio-metabolic franchise, three Ionis-discovered novel medicines are now in development. These are encouraging advances that we hope will one day bring therapeutic benefit to patients who have limited treatment options,” said Brett P. Monia, Ph.D., Ionis’ chief executive officer. 

ION455 is the fourth medicine to reach development in partnership with AstraZeneca. Ionis earned $30 million from AstraZeneca for licensing ION455 and is eligible to earn up to $300 million in milestone payments plus royalties on net sales. AstraZeneca will have responsibility for further development of ION455, including regulatory filings, and commercialization.

In addition to NASH, Ionis and AstraZeneca are collaborating on potential treatments for kidney disease, cardiovascular disease and cancer.

Ionis’ Forward-looking Statement

This press release includes forward-looking statements regarding Ionis’ business and the therapeutic and commercial potential of ION455, ION839 (AZD2693), ION224 and Ionis’ technologies and products in development. Any statement describing Ionis’ goals, expectations, financial or other projections, intentions or beliefs is a forward-looking statement and should be considered an at-risk statement. Such statements are subject to certain risks and uncertainties, including those related to the impact COVID-19 could have on our business, and including but not limited to those related to our commercial products and the medicines in our pipeline, and particularly those inherent in the process of discovering, developing and commercializing medicines that are safe and effective for

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TFF Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Augmenta Bioworks, Inc. Enter Into a Worldwide Joint Development Agreement for COVID-19 Monoclonal Antibody Therapies

Companies to collaborate in first-of-its-kind uses of Thin Film Freezing technology applied to monoclonal antibodies

TFF Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: TFFP), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company, and Augmenta Bioworks, Inc., a biotechnology company enabling breakthroughs in medicine through immune profiling, today jointly announce that both companies have entered into a worldwide Joint Development and Collaboration Agreement to develop novel commercial products incorporating Augmenta’s human-derived monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) for potential COVID-19 therapeutics.

Under the terms of the Agreement, both companies will collaborate in a Joint Development Project to develop one or more commercial therapeutics based on, derived from, and/or incorporating Augmenta’s human monoclonal antibodies to potentially treat patients with COVID-19. These products will be developed utilizing TFF Pharmaceuticals’ Thin-Film Freezing technology to manufacture dry powder formulations of these specific mAbs for inhalation delivery directly to the lungs of patients. The Agreement also includes the development of formulations suitable for parenteral administration, where the Thin Film Freezing dry powder formulations can be reconstituted, potentially mitigating the impacts of cold-chain storage and handling. TFF Pharmaceuticals will also have the option to develop two additional Augmenta mAbs for indications other than COVID-19.

Augmenta Bioworks and TFF Pharmaceuticals will allocate patent license rights to their respective technologies to allow each company to jointly commercialize the products developed under the Joint Development Project. The companies have agreed to a 50-50 split of all costs and expenses to further the Joint Development Project and both companies have agreed to the same 50-50 split of all revenues, cash payments and/or future cash payments related to the sale and/or license of the products resulting from the Joint Development Project to a third party.

“This important agreement represents the culmination of many months of work by our scientific team, as we work towards the development of a never-before-achieved formulation of monoclonal antibodies into a dry powder therapeutic,” said Glenn Mattes, CEO, of TFF Pharmaceuticals, Inc. “It is a testament to the remarkable flexibility and capability of our Thin Film Freezing platform and we are eager to develop these potentially breakthrough mAb therapies internally, along with our other programs in Invasive Pulmonary Aspergillosis, solid organ transplant anti-rejection, and botanicals.”

“Confirmed discovery of novel anti-SARS-Cov-2 antibodies in 8 days was an achievement made possible by years of technology development, and a clear indication of the power and potential of our platform,” said Christopher Emig, Ph.D., CEO and Co-Founder of Augmenta Bioworks, Inc. “We are excited to enter this partnership to bring our COVID-19 treatment into clinical development, and are looking forward to the world’s first effective, affordable and scalable antibody therapeutic to mitigate the devastating effects of this disease.”

“We believe the interest in monoclonal-antibody therapeutics for the treatment of COVID-19 is extremely high, with the promise that they will harness the immune system’s natural response to viral invaders,” said Robert O. Williams III, Ph.D., Division Head of the University of Texas at Austin’s Division of Molecular Pharmaceutics and Drug Delivery and inventor of TFF Pharmaceuticals’ Thin Film Freezing technology.

“The challenge

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Sapreme Appoints Miriam Bujny as Chief Development Officer

Sapreme, a biotechnology company focused on improving the delivery and efficacy of macromolecule therapeutics, today announced the appointment of Miriam Bujny, Ph.D., as Chief Development Officer. With over ten years of experience in drug discovery, translational science and early stage clinical development, Dr. Bujny will apply her expertise in RNA and antibody therapeutic development to further advance Sapreme’s proprietary endosomal escape platform through preclinical development. Dr. Bujny will be based at Sapreme’s headquarters in Utrecht, The Netherlands, and will report to the CEO.

“Throughout my career, I have seen the limitations of developing promising therapeutic candidates due to the lack of delivery into key cells,” commented Dr. Bujny, Chief Development Officer of Sapreme. “Sapreme is developing a promising platform, that has the ability to improve the delivery and thereby the efficacy for a broad range of macromolecules such as antibody-conjugated toxins and antisense oligonucleotides. I look forward to applying my experience and knowledge toward Sapreme’s mission of developing next-generation macromolecule therapeutics.”

Commenting on the appointment, Guy Hermans, Chief Executive Officer of Sapreme said, “After recently announcing positive preclinical data on our proprietary endosomal escape platform, we are now concentrated on building out our team to accelerate the development of our compounds and identifying the full potential of our platform in the different therapeutic areas. Miriam’s experience in drug discovery and development as well as her demonstrated ability to strategically and operationally lead projects toward the next stage of development will be a valuable asset to us. We welcome Miriam to the team and look forward to working with her.”

Over the last ten years, Dr. Bujny has held leadership positions in various drug discovery and clinical development roles. Prior to joining Sapreme, Miriam worked at ProQR Therapeutics, a Dutch biotech company developing RNA therapies for severe genetic disorders, as Senior Director R&D. During her time at ProQR, she led the early development activities for a novel RNA therapy for Fuchs’ endothelial corneal dystrophy, a common inherited eye disease, from lead candidate optimization toward clinical development preparations. She also headed the Translational Science department and oversaw biomarker and assay development activities across a variety of RNA therapy programs for rare diseases. From 2012 to 2016, she worked in various roles for Janssen, part of the Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, where she established and headed the predictive biomarker department at the Janssen Prevention Center. Before that, she worked on anti-viral antibody therapy development and contributed to early clinical development as preclinical in vitro lead. Prior to this, Miriam worked at Crucell, before its acquisition by Johnson & Johnson, in the Innovation & Discovery Labs on antibody discovery and engineering.

Dr. Bujny holds a Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of Bristol with a specialization in endosomal transport. She completed postdoctoral training in the lab of Dr. Xiaowei Zhuang at Harvard University, specializing in developing imaging methods in order to apply them to biomedical questions.

About Sapreme

Sapreme’s mission is to develop next-generation macromolecule therapeutics by

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GoodCell Raises $17.9 Million to Accelerate Development of Its Actionable Health Technology Platform

Capital will fuel continued growth of the company’s IP for measuring genetic variations in cells and scaling its cutting-edge data and analytics platform to track, monitor and support identification of potential health risks

GoodCell (“LifeVault Bio”), the company decoding human health to extend and improve the quality of life through technology powered by science, today announced that it has raised $17.9 million in a preferred equity round. GoodCell intends to use this latest funding to support the company’s IP for detecting and monitoring accumulated genetic variation within blood cells. Financing will also help advance the company’s big data analytics platform to validate novel applications for its health tracking and risk identification solutions through GoodCell Diagnostics and GoodCell’s personal biobanking service.

“COVID-19 has demonstrated the importance of solutions that can help people understand their risks and stay ahead of their health,” said Trevor Perry, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, GoodCell. “We are grateful for a growing investor community that shares our passion for delivering on the promise of personalized healthcare. This latest capital infusion will help us achieve our next stage of development for our platform as we introduce new solutions to the market that change the way individuals, researchers, clinicians and pharmacists predict, identify and monitor disease risk.”

Inherited genetic predisposition to disease has become a fixture of research and clinical care. However, accumulated, or somatic, genetic variations that emerge as a result of age and environmental factors remain a relatively underexplored area of study. A growing body of research suggests that accumulated genetic variations that culminate in the expansion of detrimental variations and cause damage to DNA within blood cells – a phenomenon known as clonal hematopoiesis (CH) – may be linked to higher disease risk. Notably, research continues to bolster linkages between these somatic changes and the aberrant immune response associated with severe COVID-19 cases. These variations have also been correlated to a predisposition toward certain cancers and cardiovascular conditions.

GoodCell, which recently filed patent applications for methods of predicting susceptibility to infectious disease and related methods of treatment, uniquely measures and monitors both inherited and acquired genetic variations in blood stem cells and other nucleated cells in blood over time. Proceeds from this latest raise will support the ongoing buildout of the company’s proprietary data aggregation and analytics technology platform, which aims to decode our cells and harness their insights to advance population and personal health. The funding is also intended to support exploration and development of novel applications for these data streams to support emerging science as it relates to pathogen susceptibility, cell quality, autoimmune and inflammatory disease assessment and more.

Notably, the company’s latest filings informed the development of the GoodCell Pathogen Susceptibility Testing Platform and serve as the foundation for a recently launched three-stage study to investigate COVID-19 in collaboration with New York Blood Center. The resulting research, anticipated in the coming months, is expected to provide important data on COVID-19 risk factors that could ultimately inform the creation of a first-of-its-kind

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Eisai and Cogstate Expand Agreement for Global Development and Commercialization of Digital Cognitive Assessment Technologies

MELBOURNE, Australia, Oct. 25, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Eisai Co., Ltd. (Headquarters: Tokyo, CEO: Haruo Naito, “Eisai”) and Cogstate, Ltd. (Headquarters: Melbourne, Australia and New Haven, USA, CEO: Brad O’Connor, “Cogstate”) announced today that the companies have entered into a collaboration whereby Eisai has secured the global development rights and exclusive commercialization rights of all cognitive function tests developed by Cogstate, including the “Cogstate Brief BatteryTM” (CBB) for use in healthcare and other markets. This global licensing deal is an expansion of an existing partnership executed in August 2019 whereby Eisai secured exclusive development and commercialization rights in Japan for all cognitive function tests developed by Cogstate, including the CBB. Both companies plan to proceed with development globally of CBB as a tool for individuals to self-assess brain performance to support healthy lifestyle choices and preventative measures in daily life, as well as a medical device to aid healthcare professionals in clinical diagnosis decisions.    

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Developed by Cogstate, the CBB is a scientifically validated digital tool that enables cognitive function self-checks and consists of four tests evaluating psychomotor function, attention, learning and memory, and working memory. In the United States, Europe, Australia, New Zealand and Canada, the CBB has been adapted as a medical device named “CognigramTM” that has achieved marketing authorization by regulators in these jurisdictions and provides informative results for healthcare professionals to support clinical examination to aid in the diagnosis of MCI and dementia.

In its medium-term business plan, EWAY2025, Eisai is aiming to become a “Medico Societal Innovator” (a company that changes society through creating medicines and providing solutions). Eisai is creating next-generation medical remedies focused on the neurology and oncology areas as well as building disease ecosystem platforms, in order to provide environments and solutions including digital solutions for early diagnosis and early treatment.

Cogstate aims to make assessment of brain health as simple, common and informative as assessment of blood pressure. Cogstate’s technology, which is easy to use and available in over 70 languages, is supported by extensive scientific validation, including more than 600 peer reviewed publications. Cogstate technology has been used extensively in clinical trials, including trials conducted by Eisai.

The global agreement between Eisai and Cogstate will allow the two companies to replicate many of the advancements that have already been launched in Japan, where Eisai has developed and launched a new digital tool using the CBB, named “NouKNOWTM” (pronounced “NOH-NOH”), a non-medical device for self-assessment of brain performance (brain health). Eisai is currently investigating the possibility of developing a medical device using the CBB in Japan.

In recent years, various research has demonstrated the possibility that decline in brain performance may be mitigated through major readjustments to lifestyle, such as regular exercise and sleep, a well-balanced diet, and social interaction. However, according to a survey by Eisai, the number of people taking correct preventive actions or habitually performing self-checks of cognitive function

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Trudeau challenges Trump’s claim that vaccine will be available ‘in weeks’, announces $214M for Canadian vaccine development

For more on today’s top stories and the spread of the novel coronavirus across the country, please refer to our live updates below throughout the day, as well as our COVID-19 news hub.

Trudeau says COVID-19 vaccine won’t come before the new year

At a press conference on Friday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau responded to U.S. President’s Donald Trump’s claim that a viable COVID-19 vaccine could be available in a matter of “weeks,” if not by the end of the year.

“We are hopeful that the vaccines will arrive yesterday, but they won’t,” Trudeau said. “There’s still a number more months of work to do.”

“Reasonable expectation is that vaccines could start to arrive sometime in the new year but even then, there will be smaller amounts of doses that will have to be distributed to priority populations, I think of most vulnerable or our frontline workers.”

The prime minister also said Canada has “an excellent portfolio of vaccine potentials” but stressed that “nobody’s got a vaccine yet.”

“There are still trials going on, there are still a number of companies, some closer than others, but we are waiting to ensure that those vaccines are effective and further, that they will be safe for Canadians,’ Trudeau said. “Nothing will be distributed in Canada until Health Canada is absolutely certain that the safety of Canadians is being properly covered and taken care of.” 

PM looking at Alberta travel pilot project to guide loosening border restriction

The prime minister also commented on yesterday’s announcement that Alberta will begin a pilot project in November, allowing travellers to be tested for COVID-19 upon returning to the province to reduce the required self-isolation time

“We’re interested in seeing the result of this pilot project, but it is only a pilot project,” Trudeau said. “As we move forward into the coming months and perhaps look at loosening some of the border restrictions internationally, we will be able to have data to rely on to make sure that we are first and foremost, keeping Canadian’s safe and controlling the spread of the virus.”

‘This is serious’

When speaking more generally about the COVID-19 situation in Canada, the prime minister stressed to Canadians that the daily case numbers in the country need to be reduced, as Canada saw its highest single-day increase on Thursday, totalling 2,786 cases.

“We have to get these numbers down, this is serious and everybody must do their part,” Trudeau said. “People’s lives are at stake, we can’t afford to be careless or think that this virus will just go away on its own.”

Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s chief public health officer, spoke specifically about the increases in outbreaks in long-term care facilities in Canada, including Ontario and Quebec.

“The size of the outbreaks are smaller than in the initial wave,” Dr. Tam identified. “I’m not sure exactly what that means, that could be people are identifying things more rapidly and putting in control measures, and the prevention is better, but

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Nicox Selects Development Candidate in a New Class of NO-mediated Intraocular Pressure (IOP) Lowering Agents

 

October 23, 2020 – release at 7:30 am CET
Sophia Antipolis, France

Nicox SA (Euronext Paris: FR0013018124, COX), an international ophthalmology company, today announced that it has selected a new development candidate, NCX 1728, from its proprietary research program focused on nitric oxide (NO)-mediated IOP lowering agents.  An analog of this molecule has demonstrated1 positive results in ocular hypertensive non-human primates compared to travoprost 0.1%, a prostaglandin analog.  Prostaglandin analogs are the standard of care for IOP lowering therapies.

Nicox owns all exclusive worldwide rights to NCX 1728.  Further optimization of the ophthalmic formulations of NCX 1728 will continue prior to initiating formal pre-Investigational New Drug (IND) tests required for the filing of an IND application. 

Michele Garufi, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Nicox commented We are very proud to announce the selection of this new drug candidate, NCX 1728, which becomes our third in-house development program.  NCX 1728 is the first in a new class of molecules combining the clinically proven effects of nitric oxide with phosphodiesterase-5 inhibition, which has been shown to enhance the efficacy and the duration of nitric oxide-mediated effects.”

NCX 1728 was invented in Nicox’s Bresso (Milan, Italy) Research Laboratories using the Company’s proprietary NO-donating research platform, which has enabled the development of a leading scientific and strategic position in the therapeutic application of NO-donating compounds. 

NO-mediated IOP lowering agents

It has been established that NO plays a key role in the regulation of IOP and can be linked with other pharmaceutical agents, as is the case with our lead clinical development candidate NCX 470, a second generation NO-donating prostaglandin analog, and the first generation product, VYZULTA® (latanoprostene bunod ophthalmic solution), 0.024%.  VYZULTA is exclusively licensed worldwide to our partner Bausch + Lomb, who is commercializing it in the U.S. and Canada.  The effect of NO on IOP lowering may be further increased or prolonged by phosphodiesterase-5 (PDE5) inhibitors, which inhibit the degradation of cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP), a key intracellular messenger that is produced as a result of stimulation by NO.

NCX 1728 is the first in a new class of compounds where NO-mediated effects are enhanced by concomitant action of PDE5 inhibition within the same molecule.  Data presented2on this class at the 2019 Annual Meeting of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) show statistically significant IOP changes compared to vehicle in laser-induced ocular hypertensive non-human primates.  Additional data recently published1showed that a molecule of this class reduces IOP to a similar extent but with a faster onset of action when compared to travoprost.

Nicox is terminating the research collaboration with Novaliq GmbH concerning their water-free enabling EyeSol® technology since NCX 1728 has been selected and will be developed using an in-house, proprietary formulation.

References:

 

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Aerogen Collaborates on Development of More Than 15 Potential COVID-19 Inhaled Therapies

  • Synairgen’s SNG001 among the many potential treatments and vaccines to be delivered via Aerogen’s aerosol drug delivery system

  • Adds to the thousands of COVID-19 patients already safely and effectively treated with Aerogen’s Solo aerosol drug delivery system in the intensive care unit 1

  • Aerogen technology is featured in guidelines and papers on the treatment of COVID-19 patients across the globe 2,3,4

Aerogen, the global leader in aerosol drug delivery, today announced details of a broad collaborative effort to support pharmaceutical companies from around the world as they work to develop COVID-19 vaccines and treatments. To date, more than ten million patients globally have been treated safely and effectively with Aerogen’s drug delivery technology 1,5–7. As the global scientific community rallies against the pandemic, there has been unprecedented interest in inhaled delivery of antiviral drugs, leading to Aerogen’s involvement in multiple COVID-19 drug development initiatives with leading pharmaceutical companies and prominent academic groups.

This press release features multimedia. View the full release here: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20201022006039/en/

Aerogen Ultra (Photo: Business Wire)

Aerogen’s closed-circuit nebulizer technology, which addresses key concerns around safety and improves patient outcomes5–8, is being used in hospitals across the globe to deliver aerosolized medication to critically-ill ventilated COVID-19 patients1. Aerogen was quick to anticipate the critical role that development of new inhaled drugs will ultimately play in the COVID-19 response, and in March of this year formed a COVID response unit to support projects researching potential treatments and vaccines. This response unit is now working with pharmaceutical companies worldwide to ensure safe delivery of inhaled therapies. Several of these collaborations are already in clinical trials, with others on track to enter studies on moderately and severely ill COVID-19 patients over the weeks and months ahead.

In one such collaboration, Aerogen has signed an agreement with Synairgen plc, a Southampton, UK-based biotechnology company, to provide the market-leading Aerogen® Solo/Ultra nebulizer system for delivery of SNG001 directly into the lungs of COVID-19 patients. SNG001 is an inhaled interferon beta that stimulates the innate immune system. Initial investigation of SNG001 as a potential COVID-19 treatment has been promising – hospitalized patients receiving SNG001 were at reduced risk of developing severe disease and more than twice as likely to recover to the ‘no limitation of activities’ level on the ordinal scale over the course of treatment9,10.

“Aerogen is a highly regarded global company known for providing safe and effective aerosol drug delivery,” said Richard Marsden, CEO of Synairgen. “Ensuring that SGN001 is paired with optimal delivery technology is a vital component of our work to bring this potential treatment to market at scale. Aerogen is our choice because of its proven reputation for drug delivery efficiency and reliability, suitability for use with a wide range of ventilatory support modalities, established high-volume manufacturing and prior regulatory approvals across the globe.”

“In the early days of the pandemic, hospitals were discouraged from using any type of aerosol for COVID-19 treatment – which

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UK to infect volunteers with coronavirus in bid to speed up vaccine development

Researchers in the U.K. are looking for healthy volunteers who are willing to be infected with the novel coronavirus in a bid to speed up vaccination development. The approach, called a human challenge trial (HCT), is not unheard of, as similar trials take place in the U.S. each year involving the influenza virus. In fact, U.S.-based non-profit 1Day Sooner has already had over 38,000 people sign up for a potential coronavirus human challenge trial.

However, the U.K. trial is being conducted in conjunction with the government, which according to a press release posted Tuesday is prepared to put over $43 million into the study. Imperial College London, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust and hVivo are all prepared to play a role in the study.

CORONAVIRUS PATIENTS USING UNIQUE PHYSICAL THERAPY TREATMENT TO BREATHE EASIER DURING RECOVERY

The researchers are looking for up to 90 healthy volunteers between the ages of 18 and 30, and hope to determine the smallest level of exposure to coronavirus needed to cause the disease. According to a press release, the volunteers will be compensated for the time they spend in the study and followed for up to one year after it ends to ensure long-term well-being.

The second phase will follow the same model to study how potential coronavirus vaccines work in the body, the body’s immune response to the illness and potential treatments.

AIR CONDITIONING IN ICUS WITH CORONAVIRUS PATIENTS PUTTING DOCTORS AT RISK, STUDY CLAIMS

If the trial is approved by regulators and an ethics committee, the work could begin as early as January with results expected by May.

“We are doing everything we can to fight coronavirus, including backing our best and brightest scientists and researchers in their hunt for a safe and effective vaccine,” Business Secretary Alok Sharma said in the press release. “The funding announced today for these ground-breaking but carefully controlled studies marks an important step in building on our understanding of the virus and accelerating the development of our most promising vaccines which will ultimately help in beginning our return to normal life.”

Dr. Chris Chiu, of the department of infectious disease at Imperial College London, will lead the study and said his team has been safely conducting such trials involving respiratory viruses for the last 10 years.

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“No study is completely risk-free, but the Human Challenge Programme partners will be working hard to ensure we make the risks as low as we possibly can,” he said. “The U.K.’s experience and expertise in human challenge trials as well as in wider coronavirus science will help us tackle the pandemic, benefiting people in the U.K. and worldwide.”

As of Tuesday, the Johns Hopkins University coronavirus map reported more than 744,120 confirmed cases in the U.K., and nearly 44,000 deaths.

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